Clay Times Back Issues Vol. 21 Issue 99 - Winter/Spring 2015 - Page 45

What You Need To Know Before You Go Relocating Your Gas Kiln Sooner or later, most clay artists are going to be faced with a moving day. This move can take on many characteristics. It can be a “Congratulations… I hear you’re building a new studio,” or a sadder, panicfilled, “Bummer, I hear your landlord is kicking you out. What are you going to do?” Or maybe it’s one of those “Our school is building a new facility that we’ll be moving into next year” situations. Whatever the circumstances that accompany your studio move, you’ll most likely be met with some challenges. Two of that I want to address concern the gas/ pressure for your kiln(s), and codes/inspectors relative to kiln relocation. Here are some basic rules that may give you a headsup about what to expect. • It’s easier to move from a low-pressure gas environment to a highpressure gas environment. • It’s easier to move from an urban/suburban environment to a rural environment. • It’s not easy to do anything in Massachusetts or Canada (!). Low-pressure gas, be it propane or natural gas, is going to be available almost anywhere you go. So, if you’ve been using low-pressure (½ psi or less, 14 inches water column or less, or 8 oz. or less) you’ll not need to change your burner system when you move your kiln. If you switch between lowpressure propane and lowpressure natural gas, you’ll need a simple change of orifice plugs. If you move from high-pressure gas (anything over 1 psi) to low-pressure gas, you are probably going to need a new burner system. Does the new location have space and infrastructure to deal with your kiln? Propane cylinders of different sizes have different placement parameters. Depending on their size, they have to be a certain distance away from buildings and property lines. The size of your propane cylinder is a function of kiln size, winter low temperatures, and whether you’ll be firing year-round. Natural gas can have its own constraints. Older cities may have laid pipe when demand was far less. If so, they won’t have the infrastructure in place to deal with your kiln. I know of one potter who moved to a location in the Northeastern U.S. in the spring. Everything went fine until the next winter, when the businesses around him turned on their heat and he didn’t have enough gas volume to fire his kiln in a reasonable time frame. So while you’re checking on school districts, nearest grocery stores, and yoga classes, don’t forget to check on tank placement and meter capacities. There is a higher density of semi-applicable laws, rules, codes, and official whims when population density increases. If you live in a city, you are already aware of this. Plan accordingly. If you have lived your existence in a rural setting or have become used to it after a few decades, the move to a city venue can come as a shock. In the country, if you needed a new shed over your kiln, you went to the lumberyard, bought stuff, and built stuff. In the urban environment you might be fined heavily for cutting down a small sapling in your yard without the permission of the county arborist. That said, there are some pluses to moving to an urban location. Lots of towns are trying to revitalize older areas, and many times that involves the arts. There are wonderful examples of this all over the country. These can be great places to start anew. BY MARC WARD Suburbia can be a great place for a pottery. You may like suburbia…but that doesn’t mean suburbia will like you. If you move to a place that has color requirements for house paint or lawn height limits, a kiln in the backyard is probably not going to fly. If there is a homeowner’s association that governs the community where you plan to move, things could be problematic. Not to malign the “Bay State” or our friends to the North, but some jurisdictions—be they towns, counties, states, or entire countries— have imposed sweeping new rules, codes, or laws that could affect your kiln situation, without having a total understanding of what they aim to regulate. Check out the rules of your destination before you commit to your move. Talk to other potters and artists. Speak with the gas suppliers or gas-certified plumbers, who also know the rules and the lay of the land. Have a good move. Just follow the old cliché: “Look before you leap.”[ Marc Ward is owner/operator of Ward Burner Systems in Dandridge, Tennessee. He may be reached via the online catalog and Website at: www.wardburner.com. Shop Talk I Firing CLAYTIMES·COM n WINTER / SPRING 2015 45 Relocating Your Gas Kiln S ooner or later, most clay artists are going to be faced with a moving day. This move can take on many characteristics. It can be a “Congratulations… I hear you’re building a new studio,” or a sadder, panicfilled, “Bummer, I hear your landlord is kicking you out. What are you going to do?” Or maybe it’s one of those “Our school is building a new facility that we’ll be moving into next year” situations. So, if you’ve been using low-pressure (½ psi or less, 14 inches water column or less, or 8 oz. or less) you’ll not need to change your burner system when you move your kiln. If you switch between lowpressure propane and lowpressure natural gas, you’ll need a simple change of orifice plugs. If you move from high-pressure gas (anything over 1 psi) to low-pressure gas, you are probably going to need a new burner system. turned on their heat and he didn’t have enough gas volume to fire his kiln in a reasonable time frame. So while you’re checking on school districts, nearest grocery stores, and yoga classes, don’t forget to check on tank placement and meter capacities. Suburbia can be a great place for a pottery. You may like suburbia…but that doesn’t mean suburbia will like you. If you move to a place that has color requirements for house paint or lawn height limits, a kiln in the backyard is probably not going to fly. If there is a homeowner’s association that governs the community where you plan to move, things could be problematic. Not to malign the “Bay State” or our friends to the North, but some jurisdictions—be they towns, counties, states, or entire countries— have imposed sweeping new rules, codes, or laws that could affect your kiln situation, without having a total understanding of what they aim to regulate. Check out the rules of your destination before you commit to your move. Talk to other potters and artists. Speak with the gas suppliers or gas-certified plumbers, who also know the rules and the lay of the land. Have a good move. Just follow the old cliché: “Look before you leap.”[ Marc Ward is owner/operator of Ward Burner Systems in Dandridge, Tennessee. He may be reached via the online catalog and Website at: www.wardburner.com. CLAYTIMES·COM n WINTER / SPRING 2015 There is a higher density of semi-applicable laws, rules, codes, and official whims when population density increases. If you live in a city, you are already aware of Whatever the Does the new location have this. Plan accordingly. circumstances that space and infrastructure If you have lived your accompany your studio to deal with your kiln? existence in a rural setting move, you’ll most likely be Propane cylinders of or have become used to met with some challenges. different sizes have it after a few decades, Two of that I want to different placement the move to a city venue address concern the gas/ parameters. Depending can come as a shock. pressure for your kiln(s), on their size, they have In the country, if you and codes/inspectors to be a certain distance needed a new shed over relative to kiln relocation. away from buildings and your kiln, you went to Here are some basic rules property lines. The size the lumberyard, bought that may give you a heads- of your propane cylinder stuff, and built stuff. In up about what to expect. is a function of kiln size, the urban environment winter low temperatures, • It’s easier to move you might be fined heavily and whether you’ll be from a low-pressure gas for cutting down a small firing year-round. environment to a highsapling in your yard pressure gas environment. Natural gas can have its without the permission own constraints. Older of the county arborist. • It’s easier to move cities may have laid pipe from an urban/suburban when demand was far That said, there are environment to a less. If so, they won’t some pluses to moving rural environment. have the infrastructure to an urban location. in place to deal with your Lots of towns are trying • It’s not easy to do kiln. I know of one potter to revitalize older areas, anything in Massachusetts who moved to a location and many times that or Canada (!). in the Northeastern U.S. involves the arts. 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